In the middle of lunch with a few friends, I glance down at my phone to notice you’re calling.
Quickly tapping my iPhone’s power button to silence the ringer I get back to the joke I was telling and we all have a good laugh.
By ignoring your call, I’m not trying to be rude – I’m just not that into you.
Sure, we had a good run. I messaged you online. You sent me an email back. We exchanged numbers, and you gave me a call.
Somewhere around this point, I realized that things weren’t going to work out.
It’s not you. It’s me.
Actually, that’s not true. It’s you. It’s become very apparent that you’re only focused on what you can get out of this relationship. To be honest, I feel a bit used. So I’ve decided to go another direction.
But you keep calling!
Who am I? No, I’m not someone you met on Match.com. I’m a prospect. Someone who might have become your most valuable customer.
But, sadly, you blew it.
Why I stopped responding to your messages
Initially, I was quite interested in your SaaS application. It has the features I need, the price is right, and the customer reviews say favorable things about your software. But you, on the other hand, you just rubbed me the wrong way…
In short, there are three things you did that turned me away from purchasing your product.
1. You didn’t treat me as an individual
I understand that you have quotas and deadlines. I understand that making a sale is critical. Hey, I’m in business myself. Speed and efficiency are essential.
I get that.
But what I don’t get is how little interest you seemed to place in me as an individual. Your responses were so canned I felt like I was in grandma’s pantry.
What made it worse was that your email made it obvious you had no understanding of my industry and didn’t even read the comments I had left when initially making contact!
You sent me the same email that you send to government organizations, non-profit fundraising companies, and fashion retailers.
No, I don’t expect you to manually craft an email directly for me, but you could at least use a platform that lets you segmentize your audience – and makes me feel like you at least know something about me.
2. You failed to acknowledge the benefits of your competitors
Once we got past the generic responses and you answered my specific questions about your competitors, you brushed the conversation off as if they shouldn’t even be a consideration.
I mentioned the company that costs twice as much as you and you said that your software did everything theirs did. But when I read reviews online, I discovered that they do a lot more.
When I shared a product that charged half of what you charge, you said that they only offer one of your five primary features. After doing my own research, I discovered that they offered three of your five features.
The reality of the situation is that I’m a mid-sized business, and your software would be the perfect middle-of-the-road for me. If you had helped me make an honest comparison of these three companies, I would have chosen yours.
However, because you failed to acknowledge any benefits provided by your competitors, I wasn’t able to trust anything that you told me about these products.
3. You didn’t maintain valuable contact
Because I was unable to make a well-informed decision about which software to purchase, and because my industry high-season was quickly approaching, I decided to put the purchase on hold. I needed to focus my attention elsewhere.
However, as I stopped responding, and you felt that the sale was about to be lost, you become more aggressive. Emailing me and calling me – almost daily!
Again, if you had known anything about my industry, you would have understood that this is the busiest time of the year for me. But you don’t realize that. Or even if you do, you’re so focused on making the sale that you really don’t have an interest in my situation.
And this is why I’ve stopped responding to your calls and set your emails to go straight to junk.
I still have an issue that your product can solve, but it’s become apparent that you don’t want to help me solve a problem – you just want to make a sale.
Had you shared useful articles with me, providing free alternatives that would hold me over through the busy season, or offered a free trial to help me evaluate your service, I would have likely purchased your product in three months.
But you didn’t, so I won’t. Sorry.
Next time, help me solve my problem
I know that you’re excited about your product and (hopefully) believe in it’s value. But that doesn’t matter to me.
What matters to me is this problem that needs to be resolved.
Instead of trying to sell your product, help me overcome the Goliath I currently face. Make it clear that you understand my individual needs; be willing to recognize when another solution may be better than yours, and make me look forward to each of our interactions by providing me with value rather than a sales pitch.
If you do that the next time we meet, I’ll see you as a partner rather than a salesperson. And I’ll certainly listen to the advice and recommendations made by my business partners.
How many clients might you be losing because you focus on the sale rather than providing value?